31 December 2019

FLASH NEWS (MID DAY): ‘Scrap CAA’: Kerala Assembly passes resolution against citizenship law/ CAA: Forget Protests, Yogi's Govt Is Muzzling Funerals


anti-citizenship act stir
‘Scrap CAA’: Kerala Assembly passes resolution against citizenship law
New Delhi :Kerala Assembly Tuesday passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which was cleared by both Houses of Parliament last month.The ruling CPI(M)-LDF and the Opposition Congress-led UDF supported the resolution while BJP’s lone MLA and former Union minister O Rajagopal’s was the only dissenting voice in the one-day special session.While presenting the resolution, Vijayan said the CAA is against the “secular” outlook and fabric of the country and would lead to religion-based discrimination in granting citizenship.“The Act contradicts the basic values and principles of the Constitution. In view of the anxiety among the people of the country, the Centre should take steps to drop the CAA and uphold the secular outlook of the Constitution,” he said.The Chief Minister added that the contentious act had “dented India’s image in front of the international community.” Vijayan also ensured the Assembly that there won’t be any detention centres in the southern state.He hit out strongly against RSS, BJP’s ideological parent, alleging that it is going ahead with a dangerous agenda to break the country’s secular principles and undermine the minorities.“RSS considers Muslims, Christians and Communists as their internal enemy. In Germany, Hitler similarly saw Jews and Bolsheviks as his internal enemy. RSS’s views are that of Hitler’s,” Vijayan said. Chennithala, supporting the resolution, said, “Centre’s aim is to turn India into a theocratic state. That’s why they have brought the CAA. They are going ahead with implementing NPR. The Centre cannot go ahead without taking the states into confidence. We’re not against a census but there are changes in the questionnaire. It is creating fear in the minds of people. Through NPR, they want to implement the NRC.”indianexpress
Days before CAB tabled in House, inter-ministry meet discussed strategy
New Delhi :About two weeks before the government brought in the citizenship Bill in Parliament, an inter-ministerial meeting took place in New Delhi to discuss the strategy to deal with the fallout of the then-proposed law, sources have said.The meeting was held in November-end when Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), sources said, was “looped in”, and a strategy was devised to deal with the international dimensions.After the Bill was passed, sources said MEA asked Indian ambassadors in about 120 embassies across the world to go and brief the foreign governments, in case they were “interested”.Every Indian ambassador was sent all facts about the law and the rationale behind the legislation. This strategy was different from the one adopted from the previous occasions.Throughout 2019, the government had held several briefings for the diplomatic community on various issues it had described as “domestic”: Pulwama attack, Balakot airstrike, revocation of Article 370 in J&K, and the Ayodhya verdict.But they were not briefed even once on CAA and its ramifications.“This time, we felt India’s ambassadors will be able to do the job well, and they can respond to all the questions,” a source in the government said.Sources said the government felt the matter was “domestic” in nature, and the Bill had gone through the legislative process and debate in Parliament.The diplomats have publicly maintained that the CAA is an “internal issue”, but when Indian Express spoke to ambassadors and diplomats from at least 16 countries, across all continents, over the last few days on the new law and the protests, they expressed “concern” at the situation.Indian Express

States can't refuse to conduct NPR, says MoS Home Kishan Reddy
Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy on Monday said states can neither refuse to carry out the Census and NPR exercise nor stop the process.BJP leader said that the proposed NPR would be almost the same as the one in 2010, with some more details being sought to implement welfare measures."Some states are saying we will not conduct it or the cabinet will take a final decision," he said in an obvious reference to West Bengal and Kerala, which have stopped NPR related work.thenewsminute
Did not see any Hindus or Muslims… just students protesting: Raghu Rai
Agartala :Veteran photojournalist and Padmashri awardee Raghu Rai said he feels people who have lived for three or four decades in India should not be thrown out by any system. He also warned that “wrong policies” to communally segregate India might end up further dividing the country.“I think there is no reason we should throw out those who have spent many years in his country. Those who have lived here for 20, 30 or 40 years are part of us now. Like it or not, they are here. I don’t know why they (government) are applying NRC, unless they have different agenda behind it,” Rai said, explaining his experience covering the recent protests against CAA and NRC and equating them to what he saw covering refugees over the years, especially in Tripura during the Bangladesh crisis.indianexpress
Hundreds of Jamia Students, Residents Offer Funeral Prayer in Absentia for Those Killed in CAA Protests
NEW DELHI:Hundreds of students of Jamia Millia Islamia and local residents offered funeral prayer in absentia for all those people killed during the protests against the controversial CAA in the last two weeks.In UP alone, at least 20 Muslims were killed – some of them in police firing – on December 19 and 20 when protests turned violent.In Karnataka also, two Muslims were killed in police firing during protests in Mangalore. Students of Jamia and local residents have been continuously protesting against CAA and central government move to conduct nationwide updation of NRC.India Tomorrow
100 organisations against CAA to unite under one banner
MUMBAI:Nearly 100 organisations from across the country have decided to fight the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the National Population Register and the NRC under one banner - We the People of India.“We are appealing to all the people protesting against the CAA, NPR and nationwide NRC to come under a single banner - We The People of India. This is the first phrase of our Constitution and there can’t be anything bigger than that,” said Yogendra Yadav, founder of Swaraj Abhiyan party.The groups will be having a series of nationwide protests and demonstrations in January on significant days that mark the birth or death anniversaries of notable people. The series of protests will start from January 3, which is the birth anniversary of Savitribai Phule.The groups will also be protesting on January 8, when farmers’ groups and left-backed trade unions have also called for a Bharat Bandh. The next set of demonstrations will be held on January 12, which is the national youth day and the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanand. “On January 17, which is the day when Rohit Vemula was killed by this administration, we will celebrate social justice day. On January 14 and 15 is Sankranti, when we assimilate all people of all cultures together. On January 26, we will raise our flag at midnight and on January 30, which is the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, we will form a human chain across the country,” Yadav said.Noted activist Harsh Mander said that in Assam, NRC process was not communal and everyone had to participate in the process, adding that the national NRC is even more dangerous due to NPR, which will allow government officials to pick and choose “doubtful” citizens.“It’s a project that’s so large and so unimplementable. The ultimate objective of a CAA and NPR and NRC is to throw our Muslim brothers and sisters into a vortex of uncertainty for years and years. Your life comes to a halt and all you can think about is where can I get that document,” he said.Noted human rights activist Teesta Setalvad said that the country had rejected the government’s plan to decide citizenship on the lines of religion.“This is a really historic moment. I haven’t seen the kind of citizen participation since the Emergency,” she said.Senior human rights lawyer Mihir Desai said that the NPR can only be done under the NRC.Student activist Umer Khalid said that they will also be pressuring the state governments to bring formal and legal resolution of some sort against NPR and NRC and they were going to give a call to boycott NPR when the process starts. “The undocumented in the country are worst affected,” Noted linguist and activist Ganesh Devy said. Medha Patkar and Kavita Krishnan also attended the  meeting against CAA and NRC in Mumbai on Monday.  thehindu
Mumbai keeps protests alive, hundreds gather in Kurla
MUMBAI:The agitations against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC continue in Mumbai, with the latest protest being held in Kurla on Monday.Around 500 residents of the locality and nearby areas gathered at Gandhi Maidan in Kurla (West) for the protest, which began around 2.30 p.m. The protesters said the country needs jobs, education and healthcare and not the CAA and NRC.The protesters displayed placards and raised slogans such as ‘CAA se aazadi’ (freedom from CAA) ‘Hindu Muslim Ekta Zindabaad Zindabaad’ (long live Hindu-Muslim unity) and ‘Jamia teri azmat ko assalaam assalaam’ (salute to you, o great Jamia), the latter being a reference to the courage and resilience shown by the students of the Jamia Milia Islamia. These students, and others from institutes across the country, bore the brunt of terrible atrocities by the police after they started protesting the laws.thehindu

Jaggi Vasudev chides students over not reading CAA, but says he hasn’t read it himself
Jaggi Vasudev, also known as Sadhguru, released a nearly 22-minute long video on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. This was even shared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who called it a “lucid explanation’ and said that Jaggi provides “provides historical context, brilliantly highlights our culture of brotherhood. He also calls out the misinformation by vested interest groups.”The kicker in the video, however, comes when Jaggi Vasudev — who released a video that is 21 minutes and 57 seconds long on the Act — starts with: “Because I’ve not read the Act fully. I only know it from the newspapers and whatever else is generally out there.” He then goes on to reprimand the students protesting, asking them “how come they can’t read the damn Act.”thenewsminute
 RSS-BJP Behind Violence on CAA Protesters in UP, Other States: Left
NEW DELHI:At a massive protest rally here against police brutalities on anti-CAA-NRC demonstrators in Uttar Pradesh and other BJP ruled-states, the Left parties on Monday condemned the governmental offensives and criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his adamant attitudes. They noted that the PM made no reference to the police firings in his monthly radio address, ‘Mann Ki Baat’, even as tens of  innocents had died in the firings.In reference to the PM’s observation that “the youth of India doesn’t like anarchy,” the Left leaders asked the PM as to who spread anarchy and violence. They also condemned the Yogi Adityanath government’s drive of confiscating properties without court order in the aftermath of the CAA protests.Addressing the rally, CPI(M) secretary Amrit Kaur said the PM spoke “lies” as always.  The PM must answer who spread anarchy in the country and why was it that all the violence and police brutalities on the protesters took place only in the BJP-ruled states. Calling the Modi-Shah- Yogi tro as the “badla gang” (revenge gang), she said they (RSS-BJP) dubbed all those who spoke for the country as the “tudke-tudke gang” while “they were the real collaborators and agents of the British government in olden days.”CPI leader Atul Kumar Anjan came down heavily on the PM as also home minister Amit Shah. He said the situation in UP was grim as social activists, journalists, advocates and community leaders are at the receiving end of the establishment, and “nobody is safe” from the terror unleashed by the police on instruction from the Yogi government.All India Kisan Sabha leader and former MP, Hanan Mullah, said the BJP and the RSS were responsible for the violence in UP and the other states they ruled. Caravan Daily
CAA part of Hindutva enterprise, says Kapil Sibal
Amid protests against the new citizenship law (CAA) and the Congress extending support to agitation, former Union Minister Kapil Sibal said it was crafted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enhance the Hindutva enterprise."The CAA has been choreographed to further polarise India as part of a larger Hindutva enterprise," he told IANS and added, to plead innocence was "nothing but a well thought strategy of Modi."IANS
 CAA: Muslim forums to hold protest on New Year day in Kochi
Kochi :Senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan and Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani will address a protest meeting of Muslim organisations here on New Year day demanding the withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, Kerala Muslim Jamaath, Jamaat-e-Islami, Muslim League, MES and MSS will join a host of other Muslim organisations and various jamaat councils and mahal coordination committees for the protest meeting as well as a rally preceding the meeting at Marine Drive in Kochi. thehindu
CAA protest:'Centre not addressing our fears': Grandson of late Muslim League leader quits BJP
Sayid Thaha Bafaki Thangal, the grandson of SA Bafaki Thangal, one of the founder members of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Kerala, has quit the BJP in protest against the controversial CAA. 5 months ago, Sayid, a member of Muslim League's first family in Kerala, had quit IUML to join BJP's Minority Morcha as its State Executive Committe member. However, he resigned from the party following the contentious CAA and the government's reluctance to address the massive protests against the act. The politician, who is the chairperson of the Thangal Trust, also told local media that the Muslim community is visibly shaken and that the Centre has not done anything so far to allay their fears. "Muslim community today is in a state of deep fear. But, the Centre is not even holding an all party meet. And is not responding to this fear among the community. Therefore, I do not wish to see my community upset and continue in this party," Thangal told Asianet news. thenewsminute

They can take away my posts: Historian Irfan Habib
Kannur: Historian Irfan Habib, presently embroiled in a controversy over his 'squabble' with Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, on Monday said that if the government wishes it can take away his posts. "If they wish they can take away Professor Emeritus at the Department of History of the AMU and also another post, which is bigger than Emeritus," said Habib to the media here on Monday.Last week at the inaugural function of the 80th Indian History Congress in Kannur University, Khan alleged that Habib broke protocol and even went to the extent of pushing aside his security aides while he was speaking."I am an 88 year old man and his ADC would be around 35 and how can I do that. Everything is there for everyone to see and all saw also what happened," the historian said.IANS

Seelampur anti-CAA protest: Court grants bail to two accused on medical grounds
A Delhi court on Tuesday granted interim bail to two accused who were arrested after a protest against the citizenship law turned violent in the Seelampur area earlier this month.Session Judge Brijesh Garg granted bail for three weeks on medical grounds and asked the accused - Ali and Moinuddin - to pay Rs 20,000 with a surety of like amount. The court will now hear the matter on January 21.It has further directed the medical examination of the duo to be conducted.The court asked how the other accused sustained injuries to which the defence counsel said that he received them during a lathi-charge.The court expressed apprehensions over it and said that it could not be because of lathi-charge. Replying to that, the Delhi Police said that he sustained injuries in a blast from a petrol bomb.Yesterday, the court had issued a show-cause notice to the jail authorities for not producing the medical reports of the accused.Delhi Police had arrested 14 people at the protest on December 17. Subsequently, the court sent them to 14-days judicial custody a day later.ANI

Nearly 400 St Xavier's students, alumni protest against police crackdown on Jamia, AMU in Kolkata
KOLKATA: St Xavier's College Monday joined the protest by educational institutions across the country against the alleged police crackdown at Jamia Millia Islamia and AMU for opposing the CAA. Nearly 400 students, alumni and faculty members of the 160-year-old institution took out a silent protest march from the college premises at Park Street holding banners saying "We stand in solidarity with Jamia Millia Islamia and AMU".The protest march, organised by St Xavier's Students Council and St Xavier's College Kolkata Alumni Association, moved along a short stretch of Park Street and Short Street.PTI

Kolkata: NRC necessary to drive out illegal Muslim immigrants, says BJP chief Dilip Ghosh yet again
Kolkata :Reiterating that Indian Muslims have nothing to worry about the new citizenship law, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Monday once again said that NRC was necessary to drive out illegal Muslim immigrants from the country. Ghosh also accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of supporting those who carried out violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act to secure her vote bank.“Indian Muslims need not worry. Only Muslim infiltrators from Bangladesh will have to leave the country. So, NRC is necessary to drive them out,” he said at a rally in support of the CAA at Baruipur in North 24 Parganas.indianexpress

At Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA stir, protesters brave biting cold 24x7
New Delhi: 3 electric heaters, multiple layers of mattresses and blankets, braziers, and copious amounts of chai — this is how around 200 protesters braved the coldest night of the season at the GD Birla Marg in south Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh on Friday. Protesters have been camping on the road around-the-clock since December 15 to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), demanding a roll-back of the newly amended law. And as their protest clocks two weeks, nothing seems to deter the local residents. Not even the cold wave conditions that threaten to give Delhi its second coldest December in more than a century.Set up using bamboo and tarpaulin sheets, the protest site had local residents huddled together with multiple blankets around them. As the minimum temperature dropped to 2.4 degrees Celsius in the early hours of Saturday, grilles on the divider along the road were lined with mattresses and blankets, to protect protesters in the enclosure from the biting cold.“I was running a slight temperature last night and had to take some medicine. But we don’t care if we fall ill or die or if police comes to beat us. We will not move from here unless the CAA is rolled back. We are here to save our Constitution,” said Rizwana Bano, mother of three, a first-time protester who has been at Shaheen Bagh for two weeks now.Like Bano, a large number of women from the locality head to the protest site every night where they participate in open-mics to express their thoughts and attend movie screenings at the spot. A majority of protesters echo a similar sentiment — the temperatures are nothing compared to the “threat” of the CAA and NRC that they said they now face.Sharjeel Imam, a PhD scholar at JNU, who has been at Shaheen Bagh from the first day, said, “Somebody was told about gloves today and we will get them by tonight. Everything is done at community level. Volunteers also distribute food and tea through the night.”On Saturday, a health camp was also set up for protesters. Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti, former president of the Resident Doctors’ Association, AIIMS, had also tweeted about the health camp. HT
Shaheen Bagh protesters asked to end stir as normal life being hit
In Delhi, Women Protest Against Citizenship Law For 15 Days In Biting Cold
Citizenship Act protests; Why fear has gripped Muslims in Indian state of UP : BBC report
Northern India's Uttar Pradesh has been the worst affected in the ongoing protests against a controversial new citizenship law. At least 19 people have died in the state since protests began on 20 December. BBC's Vikas Pandey travels to the region to find out why it has witnessed such large-scale and violent protests.The extremely narrow lanes of Babupurwa in Kanpur city lead me to Mohammed Shareef's home."I have lost everything. I have no will to live. What was my son's fault? Why did the police shoot him?" he says trying to hold back tears.His 30-year-old son, Mohammed Raees, died on 23 December - three days after he was shot in the stomach."My son wasn't even protesting. He was a street hawker and just happened to be at the protest site. But even if he was protesting, did he deserve to die?"Did he die because we are Muslims? Are we not citizens of this country? I will keep asking this question until I die," he says.The protest where Raees was shot was one of dozens which have taken place against the CAA in Uttar Pradesh, one of the country's poorest states, and across India."Policemen came to our area in the night and told us that they would arrest all the men. They asked us to identify those who were protesting," a woman, who also did not want to be named, volunteers.Many believe that the chief minister is just following Mr Modi's idea of "muscular Hindu nationalism".Thousands, mostly Muslim men, have been detained across the state and internet services were suspended for days. Many prominent activists, including a former top policeman, have been detained.The police have also been accused of intimidating Muslims. Video footage from Kanpur shows policemen allegedly vandalising cars and homes in Muslim-populated areas in the dead of the night. My colleagues reported claims of similar incidents from other parts of the state.India correspondent Yogita Limaye was told the police had allegedly vandalised Muslims homes in several places in Muzaffarnagar, some 580km from Kanpur. In one house, they allegedly destroyed everything - including TVs, refrigerators and kitchen utensils."I also met men, and boys, who said they had been detained and beaten by the police," she reported.BBC Hindi's Zubair Ahmed also reported allegations of police brutality in Meerut and Bijnor, cities in western Uttar Pradesh.A pattern emerges when you hear these stories - detention, followed by vandalism of cars and ransacking of houses in Muslim-populated areas in the night.
 Vandalised, Brutalised, Fearful Muzaffarnagar Muslims Hesitant to File Complaints Against Police
After 10 days of violent anti-CAA protests and brutal police crackdown on Muzaffarnagar Muslims, the city continues to live in the shadow of fear. Vandalised houses and a prominent Shia madarsa are empty. Households have left their properties and went underground. Those injured in the police action are either behind bars or nursing their physical wounds while in hiding. Despite massive evidence (both pictorial and video) of police brutality, no one is coming forward to file a complaint.As this correspondent toured the city to know the people’s version of December 20 events and subsequent police action, he found that almost each and everyone sulked and needed to be assured of safety before opening up about what happened on December 20 and after.“You don’t know there are police informers everywhere. Even, how can we trust you? You may reveal our names to police,” said one Waseem Ahmed (name changed) who has a shop at Meenakshi Chowk, the epicentre of December 20 protests. His shop, along with 66 others, was sealed by the police after protests. The main market of the city remained closed for six days.Most of these shops are of Muslims and the Meenakshi Chowk bazaar was the bedrock of the market economy of city’s Muslims. Sealing has struck the core of this market. The six-day closure, according to shopkeepers, is estimated to cause around Rs 20 crore. “This loss has added to our woes. We are already facing the brunt of extremely slow economy,” said a shopkeeper.Around 500 local vendors, hawkers and pavement shopkeepers were dependent for their business on the market. “We all have suffered in the last week,” said Arshad Chaudhary, who sells religious books on the pavement along the mosque in the market.Caravan Daily
Yet Another Warning From Yogi Adityanath: 'Those Who Stand In The Way Of Public Welfare Will Be Punished'
Even as reports of gross police excess come out of Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath issued yet another warning against anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests saying those who stand in the way of “his work of public welfare” will be punished. Adityanath’s Twitter account, referring to him in third person, and called him a saint. The tweet said, “Whoever stands in the way of the saint’s continuous efforts of public service and welfare of the people will be punished.” Taking a dig at Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s criticism on police atrocities in the state and government apathy, the tweet said, “How will those — who have inherited politics and have forgotten the country, and indulge in politics of appeasement — understand the meaning of serving the public?”In another tweet the chief minister’s office said that he had donned his saffron robes, and renounced everything, to serve people. Adtiyanath’s BJP government has muzzled dissent through several methods, including “damage” notices to protesters who allegedly vandalised public property.huffingtonpost
Akhilesh Yadav: ‘300 MLAs upset with him… Yogi gave free hand to cops to save chair’
Lucknow :Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav speaks on the ongoing protests against the new citizenship law and argues that the SP is at the forefront of the agitation.Akhilesh  said," People are angry over the political situation…As for UP, even today, if you go to villages and ask about the election results, they say it is beyond comprehension that the (Opposition) alliance lost… After the BJP government was formed (at the Centre)…decisions have been taken with an eye on 20 crore population…Public is angry because the government assures the decisions are in their interest. Noteban was a decision, its outcomes are before everyone. GST was a big decision…its impacts are before us…Now even big economists have started talking about a major economic crisis…Banking system is collapsing, NPAs have risen…No one is ready to take credit from banks…What is left of the economy? How are you going to get out of this chakravyuh?" Akhilesh continued, "Look at the number of NHRC notices to UP government…UP has got the largest number of notices for custodial deaths, fake encounters… You should listen to our CM’s language. This state has seen great chief ministers, but none of them would have said “thok do” on the House floor… CM used such language and gave a free hand to police because over 200 MLAs were upset with him…he gave a free hand to save his chair…""…I am telling the truth. Socialists don’t make false allegations…Didn’t 200 MLAs sit on protest? Add 100 more angry with him, that makes it 300 who are upset with him. There were talks of his replacement…After this episode, do you think BJP can dare remove him?…People in the government are happy that no one is going to ask about investments in the next six months…We want to know how much investments announced during PM, BJP president, and the President’s visit have come," he added.
Protest damage notices: Uttar Pradesh goes where no state has gone before
New Delhi :Following damage to public property in the anti-CAA-NRC protests, the Uttar Pradesh government has slapped notices on 372 people (out of 478 identified) to recover damages. It has cited a set of Supreme Court recommendations from 2007 and a 2011 Allahabad High Court order to justify this after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath declared “badla” (revenge) on rioters. An analysis of protests and consequent action taken by administrations of at least six states — including Uttar Pradesh — in the past shows that the Yogi Adityanath government’s move to recover damages is unprecedented, at least in scale.Indian Express analysed key public protests in the past four years in the states of UP, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi. Barring the national capital, all these states were ruled by BJP at the time of the protests.In neither case, did the state send any notices to rioters or protestors for recovery of damages. “MP administration has not sent notices to anyone with regard to any protest in the past few years. In fact, a mechanism to implement the SC order has not been set up fully here,” a senior MP police officer said.indianexpress
 UP Police Writes to Home Ministry, Seeks Ban on PFI
Uttar Pradesh Police has reportedly written to the Union Home Ministry seeking ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) for its alleged involvement in violent protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the state earlier this month.According to ANI , Uttar Pradesh’s Director General of Police OP Singh has written a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs, requesting to “impose a ban on Popular Front of India (PFI) as investigations found PFI’s involvement in the violent protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act that took place on 19 December.”Deputy Chief Minister of UP, Keshav Prasad Maurya has also called for ban on PFI.India Tomorrow
Preparations complete to neutralise PFI in UP, says DGP :IANS Special report

CAA: Forget Protests, Yogi's Govt Is Muzzling Funerals
NEHTAUR:Uttar Pradesh police shot 20-year-old Mohammed Suleman dead in the afternoon of December 20. At midnight, his father was called to the closest police station to discuss funeral arrangements.Suleman’s corpse was found by his family at a busy intersection in Nehtaur, a bustling urban settlement in Bijnor district, shortly after the state police trained their guns on a crowd of mostly Muslim men raising slogans against the controversial CAA. The demonstration in Nehtaur was part of hundreds of similar protests across the country.Immediately after his death, Suleman’s family took his body to Bijnor’s district hospital, where the corpse was held by the police pending a post-mortem. Suleman’s post-mortem would be conducted in the early hours of December 21, a police officer told his father Zahid Hussain, but the body would be released to his grieving family on the condition that he be buried immediately and at a spot far away from Nehtaur, where Suleman and his family lived. No friends or mourners could be called for the funeral, and the abbreviated ceremony would be conducted under strict police bandobast.“The police said, ‘You are rioters, you will cause a riot at the funeral’,” said Suleman’s elder brother Shoaib, who accompanied his father to the police station. “They said, ‘Just dig a hole anywhere and bury him.’” Suleman’s family had to patiently explain their death rituals to the disinterested police force.A little after 7 am on December 21, Suleman’s body was loaded into a police vehicle and accompanied by a police convoy that navigated the circuitous backroads from Bijnor to a cemetery in a village called Baghdad Ansar, where his grandmother lived.On the same night, another desperate family from Nehtaur was conducting a similar negotiation with the police. Anas Hussain, 21-year-old father of an 8-month-old child, had been shot dead when he stepped out of a narrow alley and into the path of a bullet most likely fired by the police.  Here too, the police were refusing to hand over the body until the family chose a spot far away from Nehtaur.Eventually, the police brought the body to a cemetery in a village called Mithan, and stood guard over the body as Anas’s brothers dug a grave, as Anas’s father heated water to wash his son’s body, as Anas’s uncle organised a wooden frame to lower the corpse into the grave. “Most of our family wasn’t allowed to see Anas one last time,” said his father Arshad Hussain, his eyes welling up with tears.huffingtonpost

After Rs 6 lakh DD, Bulandshahr DM says notices would have been sent otherwise
Bulandshahr : 3 days after a group of Muslim residents of Bulandshahr handed over a draft of Rs 6.27 lakh to the administration for damage caused to public property in violence during protests against the citizenship law and NRC, DM Ravindra Kumar on Monday said the administration had estimated the amount for losses incurred, and recovery notices would have started going out had this initiative not come from “some good citizens”.On the assessment of damage, DM Kumar said, “I constituted a committee comprising members of the district administration, police, PWD and traffic officials. One police vehicle — a Tata Sumo — had been damaged, along with one walkie-talkie set and minor damages to the road. They estimated this figure after proper deliberation.” He said, “Some good citizens came forward to compensate the assessed damages. If it wouldn’t have been the case, we would have had to recover it from those found responsible, as announced by the Chief Minister.”“There is widespread fear that anyone might be picked up, arrested, and asked to pay damages. Our message is that the Muslim samaj is cooperating with the administration, and we hope the administration cooperates with us — by not harassing innocents. They should take action only against people against whom they have evidence,” said Haji Akram, councillor from Bulandshahr’s ward 37 and BSP member.Haji Yunus, block pramukh of Bulandshahr, BSP member and one of the key facilitators of the initiative, called it “a gesture of goodwill from the people”.Some people in the city also question the message being sent out through this initiative. “I am uncomfortable with it. By doing this, it appears we are saying that we are responsible for what happened; that we are culprits. We should instead demand an impartial inquiry and investigation into police’s role in violence and damage,” said Amir Ghazi, an advocate.SSP Singh said the police are trying to identify those involved in violence. “Charges have been pressed against 23 named individuals and 1,050 unknown people. So far, 13 people have been arrested — all from among those put down as “unknown” — after studying CCTV footage and other evidence,” SP (City) Atul Kumar Srivastava said.
In Bulandshahr, families wrecked by CAA violence pay UP administration 'damages', beg state to withdraw cases so they can avoid ignominy of court appearance

Giriraj Singh backs Meerut SP’s ‘go to Pakistan’ remark
New Delhi :Union minister Giriraj Singh on Monday backed Meerut SP Akhilesh Narayan Singh for his “go to Pakistan” remark made to people protesting against the new citizenship law.“SP did what police should do, what a patriot should do….. Those who live in India but abuse it and hail Pakistan have no right to stay here,” Giriraj Singh leader said. “I urge those speaking against the SP to look at the entire incident or people of the country will ask questions from them.”indianexpress
AMU students continue protest against CAA on the campus
Aligarh:AMU students continued their protest against the CAA on the campus on Monday. The students have been protesting since December 16.Senior Supreme Court advocate Asad Hyat Khan was also present at the protest to address the students. Highlighting the importance of these protests, Khan said, “Several political parties have changed their stance on CAA after mass protests. This shows the need to protest against such acts.”He also called for protestors to remain peaceful. In the same breath, he called for the government and administration to stop the misuse of CrPC Section 144 to prevent dissent. He said that CAA and NRC are issues of the general population and by taking the lead in these protests, students are strengthening the power of civilians at large.TOI

Yogi government identifies site for mosque land
Even as the Sunni Central Waqf Board remains undecided about accepting the five-acre land offer made by the Supreme Court in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title verdict, the Yogi Adityanath government has shortlisted five sites for the proposed mosque.The five sites are outside the "Panchkosi Parikrama" limits, in accordance with the wishes of saints and seers who had wanted the proposed mosque at a 'safe distance' so that there would be no conflict in the future.The Panchkosi Parikrama is performed over a two-day period in Ayodhya during the monsoon months. The devotees first take a holy dip in the Saryu River and then do a Parikrama of 15 kms along the periphery of the city. It is said that over two lakh devotees and 50,000 saints and seers from Prayagraj, Haridwar, Mathura and Kashi participate in the event.According to official sources, the state government has identified four sites on the Ayodhya-Faizabad road, Ayodhya-Basti road, Ayodhya-Sultanpur road and Ayodhya-Gorakhpur road. The fifth site is proposed on a highway, away from the Parikrama route."The details of the proposed sites have been sent to the Centre for approval and clearance. We have ensured that all sites have easy access," said an official.IANS
Uttar Pradesh govt identifies plots for Ayodhya mosque

Construction of Ram temple should not be delayed: Iqbal Ansari
Ayodhya:Prominent Muslim litigant in the Babri Masjid case Iqbal Ansari has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Defence minister Rajnath Singh to expedite the Ram temple construction at Ayodhya."When the court has given its verdict in favour of the Ram temple, then there should not be any delay in the construction of a grand temple," he told mediapersons here on Monday.UNI

Our New Year Greetings Must Go First to Farooq, Omar, Mehbooba & Others Detained Since Aug 5: Chidambaram
NEW DELHI:Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday sent his first greetings for the New Year to incarcerated politicians and civic leaders of Jammu and Kashmir who are behind bars since August 5 this year when the Article 370 was abrogated and the state was bifurcated into two union territories.“Our first greetings for the New Year must go to Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and other leaders detained in J&K since August 5 without any charge. May the New Year bring them freedom and justice!” tweeted Chidambaram Tuesday morning.In his next tweet, he greeted all people for the New Year and stressed that struggle for freedom is a never-ending struggle.India Tomorrow
Entire Nagaland Declared 'Disturbed' for 6 More Months Under AFSPA
New Delhi: The entire state of Nagaland has been declared a “disturbed area” for six more months, till June-end, under the controversial AFSPA which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior notice.In a notification, the Home Ministry said the central government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole state of Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary.“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No. 28 of 1958), the central government hereby declares that whole of the said state to be a ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months with effect from December 30, for the purpose of that Act,” it said.A home ministry official said the decision to continue the declaration of Nagaland as “disturbed area” has been taken as killings, loot and extortion have been going on in various parts of the state which necessitated the action for the convenience of the security forces operating there.PTI
Kota Infant Death Toll At 91, NCPCR Says Hospital Had Broken Doors, Pigs Roaming On Campus
KOTA, Rajasthan — Fourteen more infants have died at the J K Lon hospital here in the last five days, taking the number of deaths to 91 this month, even as apex child rights body NCPCR said it found the hospital to be in the “worst condition” with broken doors and windows, shortage of staff and pigs roaming in its campus.“The 14 infants, including six newborns, died in the period between December 25 and December 29 in NICU and PICU units of the hospital,” the newly appointed superintendent of the hospital, Suresh Dulara, said on Monday.Earlier, 77 infants had died till December 24 including 10 within 48 hours on December 23-24, he said.On the cause of deaths, Amrit Lal Bairwa, Head of Department of Pediatrics, said that they are analysing the reasons behind the 77 deaths till December 25.A team from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights team visited the hospital, where 940 children have died this year, after which its chairperson Priyank Kanoongo issued a show cause notice to Vaibhav Galtiya, Secretary of Medical Education Department in Rajasthan government, and sought an action taken report from him on its findings.“It is evident that there was no glass in windows panes, gates were broken and as a result the admitted children were suffering with extreme weather condition,” Kanoongo said.“Pigs were found roaming inside the campus of the hospital,” he said in the notice.huffingtonpost

Govt. has started on wrong foot on Chief of Defence Staff appointment: Congress
NEW DELHI: Congress on Tuesday raised several questions over the appointment of General Bipin Rawat as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), saying the government has started on a “wrong foot” on the issue.The party also asked whether the country was headed on a portentous path.Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the government has started on a wrong foot on the appointment and only time will unfortunately reveal the implications.“With great regret and fullest of responsibility may I say that the Govt has started on a very wrong foot with regard to CDS. Time alone unfortunately will reveal the implications of this decision,” he said on Twitter.He also asked why the appointment of a CDS is fraught with difficulties and ambiguities.Mr. Tewari wondered if the CDS as Permanent Chairperson of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee outrank the three service Chiefs.PTI
General Bipin Rawat: Army better prepared to take on challenges at Pakistan, China border
New Delhi :General Bipin Rawat, who retired on Tuesday as the Army chief and is set to take over as the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), said the Indian Army was better prepared to take on the challenges at Pakistan and China border. “Yes, they are better prepared. I thank all the soldiers of the Indian Army who supported me in the last three years of my tenure,” PTI quoted Bipin Rawat as saying.Conveying his wishes to his successor Lieutenant General Manoj Naravane, General Bipin Rawat said, “Hope Army will rise to greater heights under the new Army Chief.”indianexpress

Gen. Naravane takes over as Army Chief
NEW DELHI:Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday assumed charge as the 28th Chief of Army Staff (COAS). Outgoing Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat handed over the baton to Gen. Naravane at a ceremony in South Block at noon on Tuesday. He is third Army Chief from the Sikh Light Regiment after Gen. V.P. Malik and Gen. Bikram Singh. Gen. Naravane was serving as Vice Chief of Army since early September. Prior to that, he served as the Eastern Army Commander and Commander Army Training Command (ARTRAC).An alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy, Gen. Naravane was commissioned into the 7th Battalion, Sikh Light Infantry Regiment, in June 1980. Gen. Rawat has initiated the biggest modernisation and reform of the Indian Army since Independence and it will be on Gen. Naravane to take forward the process and see their implementation to make the force leaner and meaner while optimising resources and addressing the career aspirations of the rank and file.thehindu

Gauhati High Court orders eviction of ‘ineligible’ from tribal land
Gauhati High Court has ordered eviction of non-tribals and other persons “not eligible to hold possession of land” in the tribal belts and blocks protected under Chapter X of Assam Land and Revenue Regulation Act, 1886.The court passed the order in response to a public interest litigation filed by Prodyut Kumar Bora, seeking the court’s intervention in protecting the tribal belts and blocks from illegal occupation by non-tribals and others.Assam has 17 tribal belts and 30 blocks in Tinsukia, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Morigaon, Lakhimpur, Kamrup, Kamrup (metro), Goalpara, Dhemaji, Darrang, Bongaigaon and the four districts under Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).The order was issued to the deputy commissioners of Bongaigaon, Kamrup (metro), Morigaon, Sonitpur and Tinsukia districts and the principal secretary of BTC, which governs Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri districts. Maximum encroachment was observed in these nine districts. A division bench of Chief Justice Ajai Lamba and Justice Achintya Malla Bujor Barua had on December 9 ordered the deputy commissioners of districts having tribal belts and blocks and the principal secretary of BTC to evict all non-tribal and other people illegally occupying land, following due process of law.The court asked the DCs and the principal secretary to file their action-taken report via personal affidavits by February 3 next year. It will take up the matter on February 5.Following the court order, 101,723 encroachers will have to be evicted from 389,705 bighas in the tribal belt and blocks in the BTC-administered Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) — 83,656 encroachers from protected classes (tribals) on 331,496 bighas and 17,407 encroachers from non-protected classes (non-tribals) on 54,798 bighas.The president of Bodoland Janajati Suraksha Mancha, Janak Lal Basumatary, which has been advocating the rights of tribals, hailed the order. A human rights activist of Udalguri said on condition of anonymity, “There is scope for the order being challenged as many of these so-called encroachers have resided in tribal belts and blocks for time immemorial and it is not a matter of compensation or rehabilitation but of distributive justice.”He said, “Migration is a natural phenomenon and the local communities, which have assimilated with tribals and have the same food habits and culture, are now being labelled as outsiders and encroachers. Many of them even hold land pattas.”telegraphindia

Maharashtra gets Muslim ministers after 5-year hiatus
Mumbai :After a 5-year gap of no representation, Muslim ministers have made an entry in a big way in the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government. In the full-size cabinet that was sworn-in Monday, there were four Muslim ministers, including three Cabinet ranked. On Monday, Nawab Malik and Hasan Mushrif of NCP and Aslam Shaikh of the Congress were sworn-in as Cabinet ministers. Shiv Sena’s Abdul Sattar took oath as a Minister of State. This is also the maximum ever reperesntation of Muslims in state’s Cabinet ranks. In the late CM Vilasrao Deshmukh-led government in 2004, there were 3 Muslim ministers who held the Cabinet rank. Though, the highest Muslim representation was in Deshmukh’s term between 1999 and 2003 with a total of seven ministers, only two were given Cabinet ranks.At present, the state’s legislative assembly has 10 Muslim MLAs, slightly better than 2014, when 9 MLAs were elected.
With no buyer in sight, AI fast losing altitude
MUMBAI:Making a daily loss of ₹20 crore, Air India (AI), the country’s struggling national carrier, is staring at closure unless it quickly finds a buyer, a senior official said.“The situation is getting stretched day after day. How long can this last? We are somehow managing to keep operations on,” said the official, asking not be identified.Recently, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri had made it clear that the government would shut down AI if it did not find a buyer.
Forest cover up but large tracts of dense forest have turned non-forest
New Delhi :The biennial State of Forest Report (SFR), released Monday by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, announced an overall gain of 3,976 sq km of forests in India since 2017. But hidden in the not-so-fine print of the report is a loss of 2,145 sq km of dense forests that have become non-forests in those two years.What largely offset this loss is the conversion of 1,858 sq km of non-forest areas to dense forests since 2017. Dense forests are defined by canopy cover: over 70% is considered very dense and 40-70% medium dense. Unlike natural forests, commercial plantations grow rapidly and show up as dense cover in satellite images. A monoculture, however, cannot substitute natural forests in biodiversity or ecological services.Dr Subhash Ashutosh, DG, Forest Survey of India, said: “Some of these are fast-growing species such as bamboo in the north-eastern region. Also rubber and coconut plantations in the southern states. We need more time and resources if we are to identify and classify plantations through ground-truthing in the biennial report.”indianexpress
Central Board of Direct Taxes extends deadline to link PAN with Aadhaar to March 31, 2020
Central Board of Direct Taxes on Monday said that the last date for the mandatory linking of the Permanent Account Number with the Aadhaar card has been extended from December 31, 2019 to March 31, 2020. This is the eighth time that the Central Board of Direct Taxes has extended the deadline, PTI reported.On December 16, the Income Tax Department had said it was mandatory to link the PAN card with the Aadhaar card on or before December 31. scroll

Muslim body demands anti-lynching law in Jharkhand
New Delhi: After new Chief Minister Hemant Soren took over in Jharkhand, a Muslim body has demanded an anti-lynching law in the state following lynching cases during the term of the previous government. Naved Hamid, President of the All India Majlis Mushawarat told IANS: "I am thankful to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren for dropping the sedition cases lodged against the activist in Pathalgadi movement and I would request the Chief Minister that please enact an anti-lynching law in the first session of the Assembly session." As per reports, Jharkhand saw at least 22 cases of lynching after the killing of Tabrez Ansari hit the headlines earlier this year.IANS

Iraqi protesters attempt to storm US embassy in Baghdad
Hundreds of Iraqi protesters have tried to storm the US embassy in Baghdad following US airstrikes this week that killed 25 fighters from an Iran-backed Shia group in Iraq.Shouting "Down, Down USA!" the crowd tried to push inside the embassy grounds, hurling water bottles and smashing security cameras outside.US military carried out the strikes on Sunday against the Iranian-backed Kataeb Hezbollah, calling it retaliation for last week's killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that it blamed on the group.aljazeera
Netanyahu: Israel will soon normalise ties, sign peace with Arab states
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suggested that normalisation and formal peace agreements will be made with several Arab states, last night during at a Likud event in Tel Aviv.“I intend in the coming years to conclude normalisation and peace agreements with several Arab countries,” Netanyahu said recalling his visit to the Sultanate of Oman, a country with which Israel currently has no formal diplomatic relations.Speaking to supporters about his landslide victory to remain, leader of the Likud party, Netanyahu also touted his past achievements and pledges for the future, including bringing American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over all illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Additionally, he spoke about tomorrow’s hearing at the High Court of Justice’s on whether a candidate with pending indictments should be allowed to form and lead a government.Hinting towards further normalisation with Arab, in particular, Gulf states, Netanyahu retweeted a post by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nayhan along with the message that “The time has come for normalisation and peace.”middleeastmonitor
Inside China’s push to turn Muslim minorities into an army of workers:New York Times
The order from Chinese officials was blunt and urgent. Villagers from Muslim minorities should be pushed into jobs, willing or not. Quotas would be set and families penalized if they refused to go along.“Make people who are hard to employ renounce their selfish ideas,” the labor bureau of Qapqal, a county in the western region of Xinjiang, said in the directive last year.Such orders are part of an aggressive campaign to remold Xinjiang’s Muslim minorities — mostly Uighurs and Kazakhs — into an army of workers for factories and other big employers. Under pressure from authorities, poor farmers, small traders and idle villagers of working age attend training and indoctrination courses for weeks or months, and are then assigned to stitch clothes, make shoes, sweep streets or fill other jobs.These labor programs represent an expanding front in a major effort by China’s leader, Xi Jinping, to entrench control over this region, where these minorities make up about half the population. They are crucial to the government’s strategy of social reengineering alongside the indoctrination camps, which have held 1 million or more Uighurs and Kazakhs.The labor bureau of Qapqal ordered that villagers should undergo military-style training to convert them into obedient workers, loyal to employers and the ruling Communist Party.
US prosecutors charge suspect in Hanukkah stabbing rampage with hate crime
New York :Federal prosecutors filed hate-crime charges on Monday against the man accused of a stabbing rampage at the New York-area home of a Hasidic rabbi during a Hanukkah celebration, saying he kept journals with references to Adolf Hitler and “Nazi culture.”Grafton Thomas, 37, a former U.S. Marine with a history of severe mental illness, according to his attorney, entered no plea during his brief initial federal court hearing in White Plains, New York, and was ordered to remain in custody.Saturday’s assault, which left five people wounded and followed a recent spate of anti-Semitic incidents in the greater New York City area, prompted law enforcement to further bolster its presence in Jewish neighborhoods across the region.Reuters
*views, Articles, FEATURES*  
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CAA is in line with India’s ethos of fraternity: HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank
Common intention under Section 34, IPC cannot be confused with similar intention: Calcutta HC
UP government’s decision to demand compensation from protesters, arbitrarily targeting one community, is a new low:indianexpress editorial
The Struggle for India's Democracy Is Only Just Beginning:Prem Shankar Jha
Golwalkar's Idea of Culture as War Drives BJP's Scorn for Democracy and Minorities:Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee
‘Our nation to keep and guard’:Shaheen Bagh isn’t stopping to say: NO CAA
Afghan citizenship, defined and redefined over decades of change:Faizan Mustafa
Bias inherent in NPR-NRC implementation guidelines:Mala Jay



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